It teaches you healthy communication skills
"Can men and women be friends?" asks Dr. Walsh. "Of course they can, if they keep their boundaries intact." The key, she says, is setting boundaries early on and keeping the details of your romantic relationship private to avoid emotional intimacy. So, if you're running to your female friend to hand out juicy details of the hot sex you just had with your girlfriend… stop.
That sort of talk can lead to the type of emotional connection that flips to a romantic relationship out of nowhere.
Of course, in diagnosing a healthy friendship with a female friend, I turned to my own experiences to compare and contrast the wise words of Dr. Walsh to see what went right and what went wrong.
"There are lots of different friendships," Dr. Walsh says. "We have historical friends who we knew in childhood, we have common-interest friends -- the buddies we follow sports with or go to yoga with -- and then we have stage-of-life friends, college friends, just-moved-to-New York friends, friends you meet when you're a parent.